When I was 11 and my mom was 34, I remember thinking that that age seemed old to me. My mom was riddled with health problems, most notably knee issues, and bleeding ulcers, so she just seemed…”older.” Although I love my mom dearly, most of those problems I’ve come to realize were lifestyle-induced. But, at the time I was young and impressionable, and hearing her vomit (blood) and see her in so much pain at the time, left a huge impression on me. I knew I did NOT want to live that way.
As many of you regular readers know, I was overweight as a teen. I remember my senior year in high school I would eat Wendy’s fast food (where I worked) every day at lunch. A thought that makes me ill now.
As I entered adulthood, my habits slowly changed and I led what I would consider a pretty healthy lifestyle. In fact, my first two years of beach volleyball, which I didn’t even START until I was 38, I was probably in the best shape of my life.
The game is changing. I’m in my 40’s now and the baseline of my health care routine just ain’t cuttin’ it anymore.
What do I mean by that?
Well in an effort to not get all TMI on this post, I’ll try to be somewhat vague, because in reality, the symptoms I feel in my body are also somewhat vague. I can’t quite place it, but things have changed. I can’t drink as much (literally one is my limit without feeling crappy the next day and gaining 10 pounds), I NEED eight hours of good quality sleep or else the lives of those around me are in danger from my crabbiness (and by the way, sleep doesn’t come easy). Recovering from…oh…just about anything takes just a wee bit longer. You can’t just eat anything you want (in my opinion this really goes for all ages-although the younger you are the less you notice this) and well, just the engine in general is a tiny bit slower. Hows that for vague? 🙂
So often I notice that people don’t make their health a priority until things start to go wrong. We don’t change our diet until we are obese or have a heart attack. We don’t get our skin checked regularly until we see a suspicious mole. We don’t see a dentist (yuck, gross!) until we have a sharp pain in a molar. But just like our cars, if we don’t do regular maintenance, it will break down far before its time.
Many people learn to live with chronic, “not feeling great” and are OK with it. I am not one of those people. But the problem I keep running into is, the more I want to optimize my health as I get older, the more expensive it seems to be.
Last week I worked out of an office. Granted, I wasn’t able to get my regular exercise in because I was working on location, and aside from that the heat was ridiculous in Los Angeles last week. But even still for awhile now I haven’t been feeling my best. I don’t feel my body and my overall health is optimized.
I started doing some research on my particular complaints. I’m not sure if that was a good or bad idea as there is a plethora of conflicting information. So I toyed with the idea of going to see a naturopathic doctor. I called one up and made a free 15 minute consultation appointment, but beyond that, the initial 2 hour visit would cost me nearly $300 (insurance does not cover this), and that’s not to mention another appointment to tell me all the things I need to change or supplements I would need to take. And many reviews online regarding naturopathic doctors say that many will just try to prescribe the supplements they are selling.
I decided a better route might be to perhaps start experiment with healing and detoxifying foods first to see if I can “self-heal.” So last Thursday I trucked off to Whole Foods with my list of things I wanted to get: beet juice, turmeric, gluten-free bread, a turmeric supplement, magnesium citrate (because apparently you shouldn’t have oxide). I had a couple other random things to pick up as well, so my total was $117. Whew! And I can’t even begin to tell you how horrifyingly awful that beet juice concoction was. I had a hard time not gagging.*
I also researched super green foods powder as a supplement to juicing, but damn that is expensive too. But would it be worth it to try to see if if helps me feel better…more…optimized?
The jury is out, quite honestly. I hate feeling marginal, but I’m also worried about breaking the bank. For me health is honestly the number one thing I’m willing to put money into. Without good health everything just feels..harder.
But how far is too far?
*After I wrote this I did play around with drinking more green juice, and a friend recommended drinking apple cider vinegar (which is budget-friendly), and I have to admit I feel WAY better. Crazy huh?
Have you added/subtracted anything from your diet to optimize your health? Are you able to do it budget-friendly, or is it a big added expense?